05 Nov 2013

Three paydays left until Christmas.

That’s for people who have full-time jobs, that is.

I felt my heart skip a beat when I saw a Twitter friend post that information the other day. The holiday season is upon us and Christmas Day is but three weeks away.

Should I give you a moment? Take a deep breath.

Of course, that also means that the end of the year is just around the corner. For self-employed Canadians and owners of unincorporated small businesses, Dec. 31 isn’t just New Year’s Eve. It’s fiscal year-end.

It’s a good reminder to start getting all your ducks in a row for tax season (that goes for you, too, personal income taxpayers!). Self-proprietors and other unincorporated small-business owners have a June 16, 2014, deadline to avoid a late-filing penalty.

But remember, if you wait until June 16 to file and you owe money, your interest will start to accrue on May 1, 2014.

So let’s beat the deadline this year, OK?

Getting organized for tax season

If you’re one of those organized people, you already have your receipts in an envelope, labeled and filed in a safe place. Right?

You’re allowed to claim business expenses — including home office and vehicle costs — to reduce your tax bill to the Canadian Revenue Agency. So, you’ve saved all your receipts to claim them against your self-employed income.

You’ll need to start collecting other records, too. Here is a checklist of what you should start organizing:

  • Copies of all invoices and receipts
  • Statement for any bank account used for business expenses (chequing, credit card, line of credit)
  • Deposit slips and cheque stubs
  • Summary of expenses and/or an electronic file with any bookkeeping you have done
  • Bills for business-related phone, mobile, fax, long distance
  • Bills for internet service
  • Records of vehicle expenses, including gas, car washes, parking, insurance, lease/bill of sale, payments with interest, repairs, maintenance, registration
  • Log of kilometres driven for business and odometer start/finish
  • Receipts for office equipment, cleaning, supplies and furniture

Indeed, don’t forget to write down your odometer reading on Dec. 31. You’ll need that to claim your vehicle expenses.

Now would also be a good time to head over to the CRA website and download a copy of the T-2125, the Statement of Business or Professional Activities.

Have you Fallen Into Orange?

You only have 10 days left!

We’re still looking for entries into our #FallIntoOrange photo contest. Don’t worry if your pictures are snow-covered … that’s part of the beauty of autumn in Calgary!

Take your picture and add it to our Facebook page. You can also Instagram or Tweet it with the hashtag #FallIntoOrange.

We’re taking submissions until Friday, November 15.

Here to help

A1 Accounting, a Calgary accounting and bookkeeping firm, is here to assist you with your taxes and planning. We specialize in personal taxes and small-business accounting and financial services. Contact one of our tax specialists and we can help you optimize the tax benefits and credits available to self-employed individuals and small businesses.

Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 403-226-8297.